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  1. - Top - End - #1
    Firbolg in the Playground
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    Default 3.5 Dragon Shaman Fix (PEACH)

    So, the basic motivation here is I love the DS. However, no amout of TLC will change the fact it sucks. Hard. SO, this is an attempted fix, utilizing suggestions I've gotten throughout the forum.

    {table=head]Level|Base Attack Bonus|Fort Save|Ref Save|Will Save|Special|Auras Known

    1st|
    +1
    |
    +2
    |
    +0
    |
    +2
    |Draconic Aura +1, Dragon Totem, Breath weapon (1d6, 15 ft. cone or 30 ft. line), Touch of Vitality|3

    2nd|
    +2
    |
    +3
    |
    +0
    |
    +3
    |Skill Focus, Breath Weapon (2d6),Natural Armor|3

    3rd|
    +3
    |
    +3
    |
    +1
    |
    +3
    |Draconic Adaptation, Draconic Aura +2|4

    4th|
    +4
    |
    +4
    |
    +1
    |
    +4
    |Draconic Resolve, Breath weapon (3d6)|4

    5th|
    +5
    |
    +4
    |
    +1
    |
    +4
    |Breath Weapon (4d6)|5

    6th|
    +6
    |
    +5
    |
    +2
    |
    +5
    |Draconic Aura +3, Touch of Vitality|5

    7th|
    +7
    |
    +5
    |
    +2
    |
    +5
    |Natural Armor +1, Breath Weapon (5d6)|6

    8th|
    +8
    |
    +6
    |
    +2
    |
    +6
    |Skill Focus, Breath Weapon (6d6)|6

    9th|
    +9
    |
    +6
    |
    +3
    |
    +6
    |Energy Immunity, Draconic Aura +4|7

    10th|
    +10
    |
    +7
    |
    +3
    |
    +7
    |Breath Weapon (7d6), Draconic Wings|7

    11th|
    +11
    |
    +7
    |
    +3
    |
    +7
    |Touch Of Vitality (Remove conditions), Breath Weapon (8d6)|8

    12th|
    +12
    |
    +8
    |
    +4
    |
    +8
    |Draconic Aura +5, Breath Weapon (30-foot cone or 60-foot line), Natural armor +2|8

    13th|
    +13
    |
    +8
    |
    +4
    |
    +8
    |Draconic Adaptation (share with allies), Breath Weapon (9d6)|9

    14th|
    +14
    |
    +9
    |
    +4
    |
    +9
    |Breath Weapon (10d6), Commune with Dragon Spirit|9

    15th|
    +15
    |
    +9
    |
    +5
    |
    +9
    |Draconic Aura +6|10

    16th|
    +16
    |
    +10
    |
    +5
    |
    +10
    |Breath Weapon (11d6)|10

    17th|
    +17
    |
    +10
    |
    +5
    |
    +10
    |Breath Weapon (12d6), Natural Armor +3|11

    18th|
    +18
    |
    +11
    |
    +6
    |
    +11
    |Draconic Aura +7|11

    19th|
    +19
    |
    +11
    |
    +6
    |
    +11
    |Breath Weapon (13d6), Draconic Ascension|12

    20th|
    +20
    |
    +12
    |
    +6
    |
    +12
    |Breath Weapon (14d6, 60-foot cone or 120-foot line)|13[/table]

    Since I'm unsure of the legality, I'm just going to enumerate my changes instead of parroting out of the PHBII

    Weapon and Armor Proficiencies:
    A dragon shaman is proficient with all simple and martial weapons, light and medium armor, and shields (except tower shields)

    Draconic Aura:
    The dragon shaman gains additional benefits when manifesting his auras.
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    Energy:
    Your breath weapon ignores three points of energy resistance of every point of aura bonus you have.

    Energy shield:
    The dragon shaman deals energy damage on all melee attacks equal to two times his aura bonus.

    Insight:

    You gain the effects of read magic and detect magic while this aura is active.

    Power:
    The dragon shaman gains a bonus equal to his aura bonus to attack rolls, in addition to the damage.

    Presence:
    The dragon shaman gains the frightful presence special ability. The save DC for this ability is 10 + 1/2 his class level + his aura bonus

    Resistance
    The Dragon Shaman deals extra damage with his breath weapon equal to 2x his aura bonus

    Resolve:
    The dragon shaman gets a bonus to all saves equal to his aura bonus.

    Senses:
    The dragon shaman gains blindsense out to 10 ft x his aura bonus

    Spell Power
    A dragon shaman reduces the SR or PR of any creature that takes damage from his breath weapon or melee attack by one per point of aura bonus.

    Stamina
    A dragon shaman is immune to fatigue and exhaustion effects.

    Swiftness:
    A dragon shaman gains a bonus to his base land speed equal to 5x his aura bonus

    Toughness
    The dragon shaman's DR/magic becomes DR/Adamantine. The aura-granted DR does not stack with the DR granted by Draconic Ascension.

    Vigor
    The dragon shaman can spend a swift action to gain temporary HP up to their aura bonus that last for one round/aura bonus. The maximum number of temporary HP granted by this ability present at one time is equal to twice the dragon shaman's aura bonus.


    Touch of Vitality:
    This ability starts at level one with class level x cha mod points of healing available. At 6th, it goes up to 2 x class level x cha mod, and then continues as normal. The dragon shaman can use this ability on themselves as a swift action.

    Natural Armor:
    A dragon shaman gains a natural armor bonus to AC equal to 1/2 his class level (round down), up to a maximum equal to his constitution modifier. He gains an additional bonus as he levels up, as shown on the table.

    Draconic Ascension:
    A dragon shaman gains the dragonblooded subtype. If they already have the dragonblooded subtype, they instead change their type to dragon. In addition, the dragon shaman gains SR equal to 10+class level, an inherent +4 bonus to str, con, and cha, and if his totem dragon is metallic, he gains DR 20/evil, whereas if his totem dragon is chromatic, he gains DR 20/ Good.
    ---------------------------------------------------------

    So, what do you think? Did I go overboard? Just right? What do you think of the new capstone?
    Last edited by Admiral Squish; 2010-05-10 at 01:52 PM.
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    OldWizardGuy

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    Default Re: 3.5 Dragon Shaman Fix (PEACH)

    Question: At level 19, when a Dragon Shaman gains the Dragonic Ascension class feature, how often do we think he will be fighting monsters that don't overcome damage reduction of /magic? People complain about the monk's capstone for this very reason.

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    Firbolg in the Playground
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    Default Re: 3.5 Dragon Shaman Fix (PEACH)

    I know, I checked that out, but DR seems appropriate, and the dragons only have DR/magic. Since he's emulating a dragon, it wouldn't make much sense to give him DR/something else.
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    Default Re: 3.5 Dragon Shaman Fix (PEACH)

    The added bonus of the Toughness aura would presumably work on it as well, giving a total of DR 27/Adamantine, which is much more effective. That does have the undesirable result of locking down one of your aura options. And Toughness needs to specify how it interacts with other sources of DR anyway- only works on the Toughness-provided DR? Stack them and convert them all to /Adamantine? Only take the highest and make it /Adamantine?

    Overall, my gut feeling is that you overshot a little bit in applying the entire package of suggested changes; in particular the full BAB seems a little out of place in my sense of what a Dragon Shaman should be (admittedly probably a personal preference thing- D&D has enough sources of hit bonuses that actual BAB is relatively meaningless except in terms of how many iteratives you get) and the massive natural armor bonus is.. well, massive (although it has the interesting side effect of making it a lot easier for an Epic Dragon Shaman to qualify for some of the dragon PrCs in Draconomicon.) Puts them a good 8 points over the easily available cap for other (non-magic using) characters. Again, possibly not a problem, but it depends a lot on what you want the Dragon Shaman to be doing.

    For me, the purpose of the Shaman is to channel the supernatural, mystic powers associated with dragons. That means a focus on the breath weapon and auras, IMO, where your current design lends itself to more of a physical tank. If that *is* your goal, however, I suggest borrowing a neat touch from Pathfinder's Lay On Hands- make Touch of Vitality a Swift action when the Shaman uses it to heal himself.

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    Barbarian in the Playground
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    Default Re: 3.5 Dragon Shaman Fix (PEACH)

    the DR does make sense for the sake of gameplay and balance though. Make it /Epic or /Alignment. Remember, you're getting this at level 19. People have had 9th level spells for two levels. 9th level spells can creature demiplanes and turn you into any creature and do anything ever.

    What is the balance level here? I honestly think you would need to double the Aura Bonus to put it into tier 3. And maybe then some. Or make it based off an ability score. Maybe Con+X, with X being current bonuses?

    And is breath weapon still on d4 recharge? If so, needs more damage! Look at DFA who can do nearly what this can at will. Shaman can do it once, maybe twice, an encounter. And don't get breath effects.

    Love the Natural Armor. Maybe change it to Con + Aura bonus for the sake of simplicity?

    The Aura abilities are a great idea. Presence's DC should be what you have listed +Charisma. How it is currently stops scaling at around level 8. Vigor should be at will. Senses should be x 10.

    And Double Aura from Dragon Magic should just be in the class features. It's a effectively mandatory feat. It straight doubles your main class feature. Once you hit level 9 you stop getting more auras. Maybe incorporate it so that you don't learn them all until 20, but as you level up you're able to keep multiples up at a time.
    Last edited by FishAreWet; 2010-04-02 at 01:49 AM.

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    Firbolg in the Playground
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    Default Re: 3.5 Dragon Shaman Fix (PEACH)

    Well, I punted it down to 3/4 BaB, and made sure to clarify the DR stacking with the draconic ascension. Now, to respond to each point in turn.

    So, I made it so you would have DR 20/adamantine from the draconic ascension. That should be about right?

    I don't think the natural armor bonus is WAY massive. It's partially to offset the medium armor. The 1/2 level cap is supposed to make it less ridiculous at low levels and at high levels, none of the game-winning plays involve AC anywho. ESPECIALLY not natural armor.

    I think the breath and the auras are the signatures and need to be advanced, which I hopefully pulled off, but at the same time, a dragon shaman can't be just those, or he's just hanging in the back shouting 'hey, remember that aura bonus! Just a few more rounds to recharge my breath...' I made him more melee A) Because I like melee, and B) it gives him something he can actually do without his breath.

    I dunno about /epic DR at 19. that's pushing it. The problem with making it /alignment is a dragon shaman can be any one of a wide number of alignments.

    If it would be based off anything, it would be Cha, but that would have to show up slowly, or later altogether. Fast healing 5 at level one is a tad much.

    Yes, breath is on a D4 recharge. Keep in mind, though, there's a feat in draconomicon to lower the time by one. If I make it at-will, then it no longer qualifies for any metabreath feats.

    I like the armor bonus as it is, personally. A slow improvement over time. Perhaps an aura to boost natural armor for all involved?

    I have trouble seeing how it stops scaling at 8. Aura bonus scales all the way through to 18th. As for senses, I was just trying to err on the side of caution. 10x probably wouldn't break it.

    Yeah, just throw it in at 12th as a bonus doesn't sound bad.
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    Default Re: 3.5 Dragon Shaman Fix (PEACH)

    Personally? I would shunt it back up to full BaB. It would actually start closing the gap (slightly) between Dragon Shaman and the ToB classes (as well as some of the PhB classes.

    Some auras, i.e Insight, are completley useless. Maybe it would be good if you could upgrade auras at higher level. For instance, if you were at a high level, and you had taken insight previously, it would allow you to use true seeing once per day.

    My advice, take it as you will. Good job so far!
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    Default Re: 3.5 Dragon Shaman Fix (PEACH)

    Quote Originally Posted by Lord Loss View Post
    Personally? I would shunt it back up to full BaB. It would actually start closing the gap (slightly) between Dragon Shaman and the ToB classes (as well as some of the PhB classes.

    Some auras, i.e Insight, are completley useless. Maybe it would be good if you could upgrade auras at higher level. For instance, if you were at a high level, and you had taken insight previously, it would allow you to use true seeing once per day.
    But 7th level (around that point anyway), a dragon shaman will have every one of the seven auras already anyway. Giving a bonus to a specific aura "if he has taken it" is meaningless.

    Dragon shaman is meant to be a leader in 4e terms. ToB classes are meant to be mostly strikers or defenders in 4e terms. With this in mind, dragon shaman doesn't really need full bab for its intended role.

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    Barbarian in the Playground
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    Default Re: 3.5 Dragon Shaman Fix (PEACH)

    Quote Originally Posted by Admiral Squish View Post
    Well, I punted it down to 3/4 BaB, and made sure to clarify the DR stacking with the draconic ascension. Now, to respond to each point in turn.

    So, I made it so you would have DR 20/adamantine from the draconic ascension. That should be about right?

    I don't think the natural armor bonus is WAY massive. It's partially to offset the medium armor. The 1/2 level cap is supposed to make it less ridiculous at low levels and at high levels, none of the game-winning plays involve AC anywho. ESPECIALLY not natural armor.

    I think the breath and the auras are the signatures and need to be advanced, which I hopefully pulled off, but at the same time, a dragon shaman can't be just those, or he's just hanging in the back shouting 'hey, remember that aura bonus! Just a few more rounds to recharge my breath...' I made him more melee A) Because I like melee, and B) it gives him something he can actually do without his breath.

    I dunno about /epic DR at 19. that's pushing it. The problem with making it /alignment is a dragon shaman can be any one of a wide number of alignments.

    If it would be based off anything, it would be Cha, but that would have to show up slowly, or later altogether. Fast healing 5 at level one is a tad much.

    Yes, breath is on a D4 recharge. Keep in mind, though, there's a feat in draconomicon to lower the time by one. If I make it at-will, then it no longer qualifies for any metabreath feats.

    I like the armor bonus as it is, personally. A slow improvement over time. Perhaps an aura to boost natural armor for all involved?

    I have trouble seeing how it stops scaling at 8. Aura bonus scales all the way through to 18th. As for senses, I was just trying to err on the side of caution. 10x probably wouldn't break it.

    Yeah, just throw it in at 12th as a bonus doesn't sound bad.
    Put it back to full BAB imo. As noted, what happens after you breath?

    20/adamantine is fine. I think /Epic makes more sense, and by the time your level 19 is broken by more things then I think you realize. When I say /alignment, make it whatever alignment the Dragon he devotes himself to is.

    Agree about fast healing, that wouldn't work for level one... hm... maybe it's something that could come at later levels.

    I support the d4 recharge because of metabreath feats, I just think the breath needs to be better to justify using it. Class level*d6 would be more what I'm talking about, maybe a little more.

    It stops scaling _well_ at level 8. The Dc will be 18. Most things by that level can make this with ease. By then time your level 12 the DC is now only 21. Very easy to make. By the time your level 20 it's only 27. And that's straight laughable.

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    Firbolg in the Playground
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    Default Re: 3.5 Dragon Shaman Fix (PEACH)

    Quote Originally Posted by FishAreWet View Post
    Put it back to full BAB imo. As noted, what happens after you breath?

    20/adamantine is fine. I think /Epic makes more sense, and by the time your level 19 is broken by more things then I think you realize. When I say /alignment, make it whatever alignment the Dragon he devotes himself to is.

    Agree about fast healing, that wouldn't work for level one... hm... maybe it's something that could come at later levels.

    I support the d4 recharge because of metabreath feats, I just think the breath needs to be better to justify using it. Class level*d6 would be more what I'm talking about, maybe a little more.

    It stops scaling _well_ at level 8. The Dc will be 18. Most things by that level can make this with ease. By then time your level 12 the DC is now only 21. Very easy to make. By the time your level 20 it's only 27. And that's straight laughable.
    Trust me, I'm fully aware of just how many things are broken at 20. Making it /alignment will require a lot of fancy rules-talking, though. I'll probably just make it /adamantine

    What sort of level would you think it appropriate? I don't want to just throw down a +cha bonus all at once. Perhaps it should scale like the natural armor, but starting later?

    If I make the breath any stronger, then it would be losing nothing in comparison to most damage-dealing spells or powers, except it is somewhat more limited. This is something I would like to get approved by my DMs, after all, so I'm trying to keep it reasonable.

    ...I'm STILL not sure how you're getting your numbers. Nothing happens at eight that is related to your DC. How about I just make it +cha instead of +aura bonus?
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    Default Re: 3.5 Dragon Shaman Fix (PEACH)

    Trust me, I'm fully aware of just how many things are broken at 20. Making it /alignment will require a lot of fancy rules-talking, though. I'll probably just make it /adamantine
    Not too fancy, really- "If your Totem is a chromatic dragon, this is DR/Good. If your totem is metallic, DR/Evil." Adamantine is a little more useful in general, however, as there are significantly fewer creatures that use adamantine weapons or have attacks that are considered adamantine compared to ones that carry alignment effects.


    I'd leave the Frightful Presence DC alone, personally- the aura bonus as you have it set right now is likely to be equal to or higher than your Cha modifier, considering that Cha is at best a tertiary stat for a Dragon Shaman. And Frightful Presence only works on things with fewer HD than you... which means the things that tend to have really massive save scores that need very high DCs will usually ignore it anyway. For things with fewer HD, always having the effect of a highest-level-available 'spell' cast off a decent casting 'stat' should be good enough.

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    Firbolg in the Playground
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    Default Re: 3.5 Dragon Shaman Fix (PEACH)

    Alright, so I included the DR/alignment. Any other things that really need changing, or can I start toting this off to my DMs?
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    Pixie in the Playground
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    Default Re: 3.5 Dragon Shaman Fix (PEACH)

    I know this is a pretty old thread, but I had to sign up just to say thank you. Many other websites made me feel bad for initially picking a dragon shaman to lead my campaign (indirectly, I never posted or anything, but all I saw was people bad mouthing the DS... even if it was for good reason). These improvements don't seem imbalanced, and I'm pretty liberal as a DM so I appreciate set ups away from the core books.

    I'm kind of confused by the DR/adamantine, since I've never seen adamantine in any of the books I've looked at so far, and I'm also confused by how you get all the auras your class gets, since it goes beyond the default 7 and the rules for that seems null now, so if you could help answer those questions (I'm a nub herp), then I would gladly make this the one I use this set up and praise your name to everyone who plays with me. Lol.

    By the way, why is the DS constantly compared to the dragonfire adept? The DFR is a pseudo-caster with no weapon or armor specialties, correct? They don't even get the auras by default... I'm fairly confused by why people are so quick to compare them.

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    Default Re: 3.5 Dragon Shaman Fix (PEACH)

    Quote Originally Posted by DatGladiatah View Post
    By the way, why is the DS constantly compared to the dragonfire adept? The DFR is a pseudo-caster with no weapon or armor specialties, correct? They don't even get the auras by default... I'm fairly confused by why people are so quick to compare them.
    Both classes attempt to emulate dragons. The Dragonfire Adept does it better, albeit in a somewhat different way.

    Also, this is more than a "somewhat" old thread - 16 months if I'm counting correctly.
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    Pixie in the Playground
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    Default Re: 3.5 Dragon Shaman Fix (PEACH)

    Google holds no bias.
    And that argument seems to really be directed more towards RP and character... in the game, they hold almost no similarities. I was tricked into reading about the class because of all of those statements.

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    Default Re: 3.5 Dragon Shaman Fix (PEACH)

    Quote Originally Posted by DatGladiatah View Post
    I know this is a pretty old thread, but I had to sign up just to say thank you. Many other websites made me feel bad for initially picking a dragon shaman to lead my campaign (indirectly, I never posted or anything, but all I saw was people bad mouthing the DS... even if it was for good reason). These improvements don't seem imbalanced, and I'm pretty liberal as a DM so I appreciate set ups away from the core books.

    I'm kind of confused by the DR/adamantine, since I've never seen adamantine in any of the books I've looked at so far, and I'm also confused by how you get all the auras your class gets, since it goes beyond the default 7 and the rules for that seems null now, so if you could help answer those questions (I'm a nub herp), then I would gladly make this the one I use this set up and praise your name to everyone who plays with me. Lol.

    By the way, why is the DS constantly compared to the dragonfire adept? The DFR is a pseudo-caster with no weapon or armor specialties, correct? They don't even get the auras by default... I'm fairly confused by why people are so quick to compare them.
    I'm glad you appreciate it!

    Firstly, DR/Adamantine is overcome by Adamantine. Bookwise, it's in the DMG, Page 283. The additional auras are in Dragon Magic, page 83.

    Personally, I like to think the Dragon Shaman is more about the dragon's PHYSICAL aspects, with a few of the mystical ones, while the DFA focuses more on the MAGICAL aspects.

    I am glad you brought this up again, though, because it brought it to mind again. I think I'm going to rework this again, but with more of a creative lens, rather than just modifying the presented material.
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    Default Re: 3.5 Dragon Shaman Fix (PEACH)

    If you do make any changes, I'd probably use them for a prestige class if it's possible. I think the set-up you have right now is perfectly fine, and there's really no need for it to have any drastic changes when it's representing what it should have been in PHB2. I don't know if you can, but maybe make an edit margin to show any future changes compared to the past ones? Idk.

    And yeah, that's exactly how I thought it too. Dragons aren't ONLY magical, therefore the DFA can't be closer to a dragon's abilities, as they lack the sheer power and related innate abilities. Dragon shamans were supposed to fit that role, and the creators kind of failed to make their potential comparable.

    I'm just relieved you did this instead. I'm so new at this and haven't even gotten that far into my campaign, so I couldn't trust myself to make an entirely new class system.

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    Default Re: 3.5 Dragon Shaman Fix (PEACH)

    I'm fine with you buffing all of the dragon shaman's abilties. I don't agree with you turning him into a tanky fighter on top of it though. Why is a mystical shaman at the same BAB as a dedicated physical combatant like the fighter and why is his AC higher than any tank class that I can think of? It's not like a medium BAB and non-ridiculous armor would suddenly make him useless in physical combat.

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    Default Re: 3.5 Dragon Shaman Fix (PEACH)

    You can at least remove martial weapons, they're not really necessary for the class.

    Not a bad fix to a really messed up class, though.
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    Default Re: 3.5 Dragon Shaman Fix (PEACH)

    Quote Originally Posted by Dralnu View Post
    I'm fine with you buffing all of the dragon shaman's abilties. I don't agree with you turning him into a tanky fighter on top of it though. Why is a mystical shaman at the same BAB as a dedicated physical combatant like the fighter and why is his AC higher than any tank class that I can think of? It's not like a medium BAB and non-ridiculous armor would suddenly make him useless in physical combat.
    Because doing things by half-measures was the problem in the first place. It wasn't a good frontliner thanks to medium armor and middling BaB, it's breath weapon wasn't good enough to stand in the back, it couldn't heal ENOUGH to make him a bandaidbox, and didn't have enough skills to play skillmonkey. Sure, it could KINDA do all of those things. But not even well enough to be a fifth wheel. So, I gave him a role. Frontliner, with a few extra abilities. Sorta paladin-esque. Besides, he's already working with medium armor, so that sets off some of the 'ridiculous' armor class. Besides, it's got a growth limiter, so it's not going to be REALLY impressive until later levels, and by then it's all SoD or touch attacks.
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